Now illegal aliens can get a free ticket home by turning themselves in to Immigration and Customs Enforcement rather than spend time in prisons.
The newest government plan to cut back on an ever-increasing population of illegals will be unveiled next week, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
ICE director Julie Myers announced the idea to a Spanish television network Sunday.
“The program basically gives an opportunity to those seeking an organized way to self-deport,” Myers told Univisión anchor Jorge Ramos.
“Operation Scheduled Departure” will give illegal aliens who don’t have criminal histories a chance to turn themselves in and avoid detention.
Myers said the plan was hatched in response to illegal alien complaints. Many detainees said they would rather go home than spend time in immigration prisons.
The illegals can now walk into ICE, schedule their departure, have several weeks to pack their belongings and fly or bus out of the country without facing arrest. She said the program helps illegals dodge home and work raids, but it doesn’t offer incentives for self-deportation.
According to the Express-News, illegal immigration supporters called the program laughable and said it would not work without providing additional rewards to those who turn themselves in.
“It’s pure fantasy,” said Doug Rivlin, spokesman for National Immigration Forum. “An attempt to entice people to sign away their rights and get out of the country as quickly as possible before even talking to a lawyer.”
Rivlin said illegals would buy a bus or plane ticket home rather than check into ICE.
Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, one of the nation’s chief anti-illegal-immigration lobbies, said he agrees with Rivlin’s point that the government would need to offer an incentive. He suggested allowing illegals the opportunity to apply for legal citizenship in return for turning themselves in to authorities.
“It certainly makes sense to create conditions to make people understand that if they’re here illegally, it’s not going to benefit them to stick around,” he said.
According to the Express-News, the same idea has worked well for the U.S. Marshals Service. “Fugitive Safe Surrender” allows nonviolent U.S. criminals to self-arrest rather than be hunted down. More than 16,000 offenders have turned themselves in.